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September 9, 2011

FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN CONVICTED OF INJURING BICYCLIST IN DRUNKEN DRIVING HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 12:00 pm

*Defendanthad a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit

SANTA ANA - A Long Beach Fire Department Captain was convicted today of severely injuring a cyclist in a mid-day hit-and-run crash while driving with a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit.  John David Hines, 38, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury, hit and run with injury, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level over .20 percent. As a condition of the court’s offer, Hines has been ordered to serve 90 days in state prison for a diagnostic evaluation to determine his suitability for state prison. After the 90-day diagnostic, he is expected to be sentenced Dec. 2, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. He faces a sentence ranging from probation up to six years and eight months in state prison.

On the morning of April 1, 2011, Hines consumed alcohol and became severely intoxicated at the Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach. At approximately 1:20 p.m. on April 1, 2011, Hines drove erratically under the influence of alcohol eastbound on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach in his Chevrolet pick-up truck.

While driving, Hines lost control of his vehicle and suddenly swerved into the bike lane and dirt shoulder. Without slowing or hitting his brakes, he crashed into 47-year-old bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon. The victim was thrown from his bike over 70 feet and landed on the shoulder of the road. Hines failed to slow or hit his brakes after crashing into the victim and fled the scene.

Two separate drivers who witnessed the crash followed the defendant and called 911. Hines drove to his Huntington Beach home, where he was contacted by the Huntington Beach and Seal Beach Police Departments.

When contacted by police, Hines displayed objective signs of intoxication including emitting a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot and watery eyes, unsteady balance, and a strong odor of urine from his clothing. Approximately two hours after the crash, Hines had a blood alcohol level of .24 percent.

The force of the impact from the crash caused by Hines left a blood splatter on the defendant’s vehicle and resulted in major front-end fender and hood damage.

Gordon was transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center to be treated for head trauma, severe lacerations and bruising to his head and body, internal injuries, and spinal and vertebrae injuries. Gordon remained in the hospital for two weeks and continues to suffer pain as a result of his injuries.

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